- Yes, Green Mtn Punter, the silky voice of Bing Crosby serenades us with "Where the Surf Meets the Turf" as the horses come onto the track for the first race. I know that because I actually made it for the opener on Monday. The eight race cards on the weekdays impart a sense of urgency as far as getting there on time goes. There are some great old photos around the track of celebrities of days past; many of course feature Bing and co-founder Pat O-Brian. Shots of Gregory Peck and Lucille Ball also come to mind. But I haven't seen anyone famous other than Cristine Olivares. I wouldn't say that I feel as if the place seems steeped with tradition. The structure looks and feels new, the floor boards don't creak when you step over them, there's no spring water, and, thankfully, there are no bells clanging over the P.A system 18 minutes before post time! Time for that bit of tradition to be retired!
Ashley's Kitty looks like some possible value in the 7th today. If you discard her route tries, you'll see that she's undefeated at sprint distances, most recently in the Grade 3 Railbird stakes, in which she took advantage of one of those blistering California paces that we used to see, and got up to win by a nose. That race has produced two wins, a second, and a third in subsequent efforts, all in stakes races. She faces older fillies and mares for the first time here, but she has a sparkling workout over the track, and her running style from the Railbird should suit her well in a race with no lack of early speed.
The finale is a wide open turf race for maidens; I gotta say that I'm having a tough time singling out potential winners out here. Pride of Pegasus goes back to the grass for McAnally; her debut was a grass sprint in which she finished well. By Fusaichi Pegasus out of the G1 Yellow Ribbon winner Alpride, she should like the route. Awesome Feat has run respectably on the Poly for John Sadler; she switches surfaces and stretches out. She's by Awesome Again, out of a half-sister to the dam of the multiple turf stakes winner Up An Octave. Forest Melody has steadily improved, and seems like a logical selection to at least hit the money here. And oh boy, here's Frankel again. I am just way off with this guy recently. Over the weekend, I singled out Ginger Punch as a bet-against as the favorite in the Go For Wand. That selection was based on solid principle, and I stand behind it even though she won. However, I'm just not having much luck with the guy, and he's one of my favorite trainers. Mezuzah makes her first start since June, 2006, when she debuted with a win (dq'd) in a turf route at Hollywood. As the 3-1 morning line favorite, she presents a familiar dilemma here. But I'll stand against and go with McAnally's filly at 6-1. So you might want to consider singling Mezuzah in your Pick Six!
All in all, Wednesday's card is another that I find quite difficult. The only other horse that caught my eye is Lazio, in the fifth. This one has turned things around completely since getting Victor Espinoza on board three races back. In his last, he recovered from a sluggish start, and just missed catching the pace setting Datticus, also in this race. Even though they shorten up to a mile here, Lazio should be closing stoutly at the end. Good luck and have a great day, whether you're where the surf meets the turf, where the bell clangs 18 minutes before post, or wherever.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Posted by alan at 11:28 AM